Richard Pipes: Communism

The second essay is a 5-page (approximately 1500 words) summary and analysis of either

Richard Pipes, Communism: A History,No additional sources are necessary. Your essay will have a title page and proper acknowledgment of source (minimum 15 citations). 

Essay Structure:

1. Your introductory paragraph should be a half page or less. Your objective is to introduce your

author and book and present your thesis statement. Clarity is essential. Avoid frustrating your

reader with confusing sentences at the start of the essay.

2. The next few paragraphs will be a summary of the book. Your goal is to summarize the main


3. Your analysis is next. Is the author convincing? Does the author enrich your understanding of

the topic? Here you want to present a combination of shortcomings and strengths of the book.

You might judge the book to have more strengths than shortcomings or vice versa.

4. The final paragraph does not offer any new material. One strategy is to copy and paste your

introductory paragraph and then re-word it.

Final Essay Checklist

1. Is your thesis defined clearly? Stating what your topic is or what you are going to write about

is not an argument.

2. Good introduction? Keep your introductory paragraph concise.

3. Evidence supports argument? Focus on persuading your reader with relevant facts.

4. Proper paragraphs? Do not have very short or very long paragraphs.

5. Good conclusion? The concluding paragraph should reflect the introductory paragraph.

6. Documented adequately? You must have a minimum of 15 proper citations. You must give

the specific page where you find your information (Pipes, Communism, 78 is correct; Pipes,

Communism, 78-122 is incorrect). It is good to have direct quotes, but avoid having too many.

Stringing quotes (especially secondary source material) shows a lack of work and engagement

with the material.

7. Proof of reading? Do not leave out large blocks of the book.

8. Correct length? Keep in the range of 1350 to 1650 words not counting footnotes.

9. Careful proofreading? Proofread to eliminate grammar errors or other problems.

10. Submit on time? Avoid late deduction marks

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